It's one of those semi-boring first-quarter months but hey, news is news.
The NPD Group has revealed the sales results for March 2011: the industry decreased slightly after a small rise in February. Overall retail sales of software, non-PC hardware, and non-PC accessories slipped 4% to $1.53 billion. For the full first quarter, sales were almost flat, declining just 1% (according to analyst Anita Frazier). Thanks to the hardware launch of the Nintendo 3DS, hardware sales were up 12% to $494.5 million but perhaps surprisingly, the original DS was the top seller for the month. The Xbox 360 was once again the top-selling console for the month, while Sony – which doesn't often release exact sales figures after the NPD stopped reporting them – "saw double-digit growth across hardware and peripherals."
The Wii has fallen off greatly over time and only managed to sell 290,000 units in March, and there's a rumor the system will fall in price soon. Software sales fell 15% to $790.9 million, with Pokemon White and Pokemon Black in the top two slots. Homefront came in third, Dragon Age II settled into fourth, and the ongoing popularity of Call of Duty: Black Ops continues, as the billion-dollar-mega-release rounded out the top 5. Here's Sony's official statement from SCEA Sr. Director of Corporate Communications Patrick Seybold:
"According to the latest NPD report, PlayStation saw double digit growth across hardware and peripherals, signaling continued momentum for the PlayStation platform and consumer demand for immersive 3D and precision motion game play. Led today by the PlayStation Move motion controller, Move accessories and the deep lineup of Move-compatible software titles, PlayStation peripherals have now achieved double-digit growth for 19 consecutive months, according to NPD. People are loving the gaming experience provided by true stereoscopic 3D and PlayStation Move, and we'll up the ante next week with the release of SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals."
…and here I thought the Pokemon fad was dead. I still have nightmares of little kids coming into EB manically seeking the cards. That was 12 years ago.